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ENGINEERING NATURE AND ENGENDERING MAN -
Creation and Information in Genesis
The Scope, Perspective, Grace and Gravity of Genesis
THE GENESIS OF GENERATIONS
The day of creation*1A is clearly taught in Genesis 2:2,4. THUS were all things made, as shown in Ch. 1, and we are then exposed to the unsublime result in man's heart, and the sublime work of God, to restore, in its time, as Genesis proceeds. THIS is how it was done. This now is what followed. What you have heard, is what happened; and what happened was the day, the just announced imput of creation. Out of nothing ? It had no precursors but the Lord, who like an author writing a book, wrote it; but it had this difference, there was nothing material. It was matter that He made, and order and form, and created law and the entire rounded construction of inter-related elements and systems which constitute the creation. We look back one moment from the start of Genesis 2, on Ch. 1.
Meanwhile, in 2:4, we find this: that we are about to visit the history of events, the generations from this creation which GOD DID IN THE DAY OF CREATION. This, if you will, is the ISSUANCE of what God created, IN THE DAY when He made all.
At once all thought of some other, some ultra-revealed, some secret occurrences are removed. As far as heaven and earth are concerned, this is ALL. This that has preceded in Ch. 1, is the account of God here summarised in terms of the DAY of creation, when He made it all. It is not something else. It is this. It was not created, this heavens and earth, at first; then it was created; and thereafter God formed and forged the conditions, and created moving life, and man. It is not at all difficult to follow, the steps of His creation, expressly stated. This is the day of creation, its manifesto and its mould.
And it has results! These follow as the "generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens."
Indeed, in a book which goes on to speak freely of generations in a more usual human sense, the concept of engendering is strong. God engenders creation. Man engenders generations to follow him, within the type, framework and style, MAN. Each to his own: God makes all, and within it all, is man; who then, as man proceeds at his own level of making in his image.
What a privilege it is, to make in some form after one's own image, when that image is derived from the Lord, and can have communication and fellowship with him! This is no small part of the joy of fatherhood! God however before any routine type of engendering not only does this, but He CREATES it all. That is the translation of the Hebrew term used for this totality of action, and this is a term in the Bible never to be found in terms of the means used, for it is here the sheer, stark act of bringing a thing into being in the relevant sense, which is in view through this word.
Here the thing in view is the coming to be of the heaven and the earth. Naturally, such is the consistency of Holy Writ, that this is precisely as also depicted in Hebrews 11:1, where the visible sphere originated from the invisible, from God for whom the visible is infinitely less in this, that it is the result of creative activity, not eternal in mode, or almighty in power. It is moreover exactly as shown in Isaiah 44:24 where God ALONE stretches forth the heavens, and makes all things, or 45:18, where HE is the Creator such that there is NO OTHER.
WHO, He asks, did it ? I, He affirms, did it. It is not difficult to follow. In Isaiah 45:12 we find also that He 'created' man upon the earth. In 45:19, correlative with all this, we discover that HE has not been speaking in some secret way, as if to some specialised Club. He has DECLARED His righteousness, His ways, and TOLD to Israel the data required. It is NOT secret, NOT hidden, but PUBLIC. In Isaiah 41, 43, 48, further, we learn that WHAT He says, both prospectively (in prophecy, that is), and retrospectively (in history), is testable and incomparable. NO ONE else does it like this, since there is NO OTHER GOD. Thus in Colossians 1:15, we learn that Christ, though only incarnated late in history, is yet the firstborn of all creation BECAUSE HE CREATED creation.
THE CREATION*1 is HIS handiwork as the eternal word of God; and thus in John 1:3, we find that the whole CATEGORY of made things is WHAT HE CREATED. It is of course the UNMADE who made the made, and it was because He was NOT MADE that He was there to make the makable! Nothing COULD never have a future or it would be something with a future, and what was required for all that ever came, being always there, so that anything COULD come, He is eternal, and eternally adequate. Not only so, He has TOLD us about it all, and GIVEN us what our condition required.
Before Abraham, said Christ, I AM! (John 8:58). Nothing is anything to do with the Bible, except to reject it, which imagines that God did LESS than come in His own Being in the incarnation (Hebrews 1:1ff.), so that to Him, Christ, it is said, YOUR THRONE O GOD! How then did He create ? It is much as He re-creates (II Corinthians 4:6), when He brings to birth a NEW CREATION in the born again Christian.
God creates; and it is there. He did it as assigned in the report in Genesis 1, and SO it is there (as noted in 2:1). In parallel there are engenderings, issuances, results, things that follow such a creation. To these we turn in Genesis 2.
WHEN He made the living things, He also instituted, we have in the initial report of creative action, a method of image-transference, in terms of 'seed' or life-giving means such as seed in plant, or the spermatozoan and ovum, in the case of man. Things were designed to follow this image by this means. They were not to follow some other image or procedure; they were not to be of some other kind, but of this kind, and thus would each kind be kept. It is clear from the specifications of kind that these kinds are not minute; on the other hand, their specifications are exceedingly distinctive. It is creation with continuance of the kinds created.
In brief, then: After Genesis 1 completes the tour of creation, we revisit in Genesis 2 for the tour of the segment of special interest to us, that one which was made in the image of God, ourselves. Rather near the start of this second chapter, there is a fascinating fact to be found. We learn in 2:1-4 that it was in this way, as just given, that the heavens and the earth, all the host of them, the multitudes of made things, were finished by the mode of creation. God then rested from all this work, causing the outcome of things, and the transference mode for life, via kind. The correct and binding account of the action is as in Genesis 1. Adding and subtracting from its basics of overview is pretentiously to act as if to use the mouth of God for other purposes, never a good idea.
Moving now to the specialty which is ourselves, from or rather through whom the Lord came when Christ anointed the earth with His own presence, the Creator in creature's form for the welfare of what He had made, which had misused licence and fouled freedom, we come to consider what happened.
Just as the happenings from the Holy throne of God, were in Ch. 1, so those which came in the unholy misuse of man, follow. What, in other words, did all this produce as far as man was concerned ? Alas it is a sad account, as are so many to this day, whether in the Middle East, Korea, Iran or India.
It is all spoken of then, in Genesis 2:1-4, in terms of creation and generation - the en bloc arrival of the elements, and the wholes has come, and now what followed in the way of development ? In this case, it is called the generations of the heavens and the earth, for man is not alone, but set like a jewel in a vast creation flush.
What is imparted is this: that GOD did that, all of it, and this is done by Him, part as an engineer-artist, making the canvas, then painting; and part as an engenderer more specifically, making life and then its now normal generations.
Part of the creation is in matter, part in life, with the governing guide of spirit where it belongs. God's spirit hovers over the creation so that kind is given form, and all proceeds. All of creation however is a matter of generations. Kinds of things are created and continue in their elected mode. What is the intimacy of beginning and continuation in this grand and vast display; and how did history attend to this institution of its means to exist? What does the Bible here teach?
First, there is no evolution. Variation within kind is obviously in view as in 6:4, but not some other kind of thing. Creation did that; continuation gives variation, not creation. Simplicity itself is there. Secondly, there is constitution, for nothing makes up its own mind to become something, in rather the normal way! You can do a lot, but you cannot make yourself a lot different, since the means are not there, and you did not make yourself in the first place, nor can you (cf. Psalm 100). Thirdly, the divine work of creation was a brilliant, intricate, vast, majestic and sustained outpouring of wisdom and power, and God rested from this creation, institution, establishment, with its processes for sustaining the level and basic nature of the highly varied images made, inbuilt. KINDS were in vogue, and to be kept, as they have been.
as absent in Genesis 1-2, as it is in life and empirical evidence, in means and in methods, in dismal and dysfunctional transmutational results littering the earth, these most conspicuous by their absence, and in scientific law, which it would violate (cf. That Magnificent Rock Chs. 1, 8, A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-9, SMR Ch. 2 and Index). Its curfew is a catcall from a hoodwinked audience.
Imagination in man often
runs riot, and when man riots in resistance to God, then his
God-given liberty of thought enables him to make of himself a derelict duffer, who then acts on his delusions and sets about destroying himself with racial pride, national pride and other follies built on nothing, and achieving less than nothing, all to put in his pocket the key to his destiny, which, since it is not there but in God alone, leads to endless dumb fumbling; for even the most brilliant, cannot put a key in a lock which is not there. Alas, all this flows in the contemporary scene like some destructive flood in China; and all this torrent of untruth, with its callow incomprehension, current history too well attests.
You can only go so far in spending any
inheritance, and man is going very far indeed in his own destruction, trying to
be God, which is as useful in practice as in thought!
1. The Creation: Deposition, Institution of Framework and Function –
10 elements to note
Hebrew, like English, can mean a period of specified action, by "day", and in fact II Peter expressly tells us that to the Lord a day is as a thousand years to us. Thus there is nothing surprising about the day of creation (Genesis 2:4): quite a day! That day incorporated all things whatsoever that were involved in the entire heaven and earth, relative to creation. Schematic, of course, it is nevertheless, like any summary that is true - accurate and correct. These are the generations, the creative formulations, the unique calling to be in material form what was before universe time schedules were in vogue, not there at all. With it is the mentality and spirit of man as well. Authority instituted a creation, as its author.
The mode of creation is set forth in SMR pp. 179ff. and 482ff., as also the nature of the days (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 8). Here, it is convenient to give a brief pointer about Genesis 2:4, and the following generations found later in Genesis. David M. Fouts in Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal, Part 3, 1997, p. 307, points out that the Hebrew transliterated yom, 'day', always refers to a 24 hour day, when it is used in ordinal, not cardinal sense, in Biblical usage: i.e. the first day, and so on. This with one conceivable exception: Hosea 6:2-3. That however, when it is analysed, is not at all an exception but as shown in SMR pp. 472-473, is a most direct statement of time. Correlative with symbolic prediction, it speaks one thing - 3 days as it says.
The 'two days' feature with it is most interesting, as shown in Hosea at this point, as the third day indeed only just began to dawn as the resurrection was consummated. 'After two days' of course necessarily brings us to at least the third. We are here as is the custom and constraint in terms of the ordinal sense. We are not dealing with anything other than 'days' in Hosea 6, in fact this being the prelude to the amazing zeal the Lord shows in Hosea 13:14, that HE HIMSELF will provide redemption for man, destroying death in the process. It does not matter what it takes, HE WILL DO IT. He does not do it in some strange history, but in this world (Isaiah 52-53), and it is done in time, with suffering that moves with the clock, and it is after two days (in fact, they were Friday and Saturday), that He brings healing to the people (as in Isaiah 53:5), via bearing their sins (53:6,10), yes and on the third it is done.
The literary tact in saying "after two days" and then adding "on the third day He will raise us up", relative to the early dawning of the morning of the third day, has all the characteristic of Biblical precision, and aptness! As in Isaiah 26:19, it is HIS DEAD BODY raised, which incorporates in its power, what is to be for all who are His at the general resurrection.
Very definitely, there is nothing abstruse about Hosea 6:1-3 in its days. They are normal days for suffering and grace, days that take time, time that allows blood to drip.
There are then no exceptions at all that may Biblically be shown. Ordinal days in the Bible do not have other than normal type meaning. It is the 24 hour type of day, rotational in derivation, that would be expected by universal contextual force in the Bible, for Genesis 1, and this has no collision whatever with the embracive non-ordinal statement of Genesis 2:4. Just the same as this could be done in English, as contextually narrating a series of acutely important sequential happenings over numbered days, as it were in exciting and gripping prose, we then review the thing as "the day when" this happened.
We are not children; we know the usages and they are clear; the duty of any author being to make them so, and not to vex usage by meaning something indeterminable when he is employing normal usage, but either to demonstrate a divergence, on the one hand, by context, or illustrate conformity. The penalty otherwise: bad writing, pretentious prose, seeming to say what it does not relate. All this and much more is given in the SMR references above noted. Here it is merely a preliminary to our "generation" focus.
It would of course be better to refer to a rotational day, since the rotational time is not Biblically guaranteed at 24 hours, and there has been evidence that it may have varied; and indeed, rotational analogue might be better yet, since it is a question whether light was invented before luminaries, scholars having differing exegeses of the text on this point.
However, the point is quite clear: the earth gives no evidence of any major change here, that would alter the tight chronological sequence IN KIND, from the 24 hour model.
Once again moving on from the ordinal usage in Genesis 1, in Genesis 2:4 it is not an ordinal use, but 'in the day': not in the first or second day. This fits with the whole context also. It is review in its nature and in its arithmetic. We are looking in Ch.2 at something in its broadest scope, being free to do so since we are aware of the details, the interstices from Ch.1. In such a context, cardinal and not ordinal usage being present, 'day' should mean whatever the time of the actions in view, requires - as for example in "the day of the Lord", which can readily be shown to have various phases of horror and blessedness (Amos 5 and Isaiah 61:2, 2:12, Zechariah 14:1-3, 20).
Obviously there is the impact in His coming in judgment and there is the blessing of His staying with His blessed ones; but the "day" covers both, in that it is really His impact, with chronological phases, this way and that, at this time and that.
The term "in the day" is often in fact translated "when" as Foots shows by listings, in the article noted; and of course, we do the same. Thus Genesis 2:4 means "when" or "in the time reference noted". Metaphors were not invented yesterday.
What, to the point of our interest in the Biblical teaching on THE INSTITUTION OF HISTORY, HOWEVER, DO WE LEARN FROM GENESIS 1-10 ?
use of day, which was episodic, not explicitly embracive, as in Ch.2, showed a
1) INSTITUTION of day, in terms of daylight. In day one, this is absolute, darkness not at first
having been accorded its (relevant) name. That occurs in the record at Genesis 1:5.
Before that the ingredients of day were being invented, and darkness was yielding to light, itself commanded into very existence where darkness had first been..
2) CONSTITUTIVE CRITERIA, in terms of the present, with orbs of light noted by name
in verse 14 and there assigned their regulative role, gathering of waters and
assignment of dry land.
3) CONTINUITY CRITERIA in terms of evening and morning in a sequence, rather than simply something initiated, as before, by an absolute beginning in which day is not defined,
there being no light. This fluctuation of light with darkness we call day and night was not
even named at first where light as such was injected into the system; and this accords
of course with Genesis 2:4s comprehensive coverage and designation of all creation in terms
of what has been recorded in the outline preceding, where creation is the directly declared
mode of production of the entity called the heaven and the earth.
Moreover, the facts there
stated, in what preceded, are here in review in Ch. 2, indited as those operative relative to the expressly re-assigned term 'creation'.
It would be difficult, if not impossible, to imagine anything more emphatic concerning creation
of the entire entity termed heaven and earth, and of the character of their institution AS
creation. Here, the very nascencies first introduced, the means of operation are clarified progressively, then the means of maintenance and purposes, while finally in 2:4, the overview excludes any other means, any other advent, any other element, any other time or season, occasion or device in principle, than these.
Creation it was, creation it is, all of it is creation as to underlying mode, nothing is in heaven or earth uncreated, and nothing is to be conceived as revealed but what has been stated, as to the procedure. God created this entity in its totality: that was its means of ingress, arrival. On arrival,
at the time stated, there is a dark formlessness. To this, God in constant attention, as if hovering, by His Spirit, provides light.
E.J. Young in pp.1-2 of Studies in Genesis One, shows further reasons in Hebrew for the
absolute beginning, in Genesis 1, which 2:4 indissolubly requires as does the very term 'create'
which it deploys, in its review and characterisation, in a context in which the heavens and the
earth are to arrive as the object in view. In Genesis 1, verse 2, starting, "and the earth", fits
grammatically with this straightforward procedure. What occurs is creation; that to which it
relates is heaven and earth; what proceeds is characterised in 2:4 as creation's mode; what is doubtful is zero.
It is then NOT pre-history to history. It is format for history and then history, which we find presented, including the very use of direct definition of terms to meet the arrival of a fundamental now requiring nomenclature: day.
4) ASSEMBLAGE NOTATION for ingredients of our universe and cosmos,
each being injected into the situation by the word of the God
who first (cf. Hebrews 11:1-4) called it into being.
These are first of all illumination and alternation, and with these, geological and hydraulic,
but move swiftly to the astronomical, flora and fauna, with emphasis on propagation,
multiplication, on a 'kind' basis laid down so that multiplication would be OF the kind,
not IN the kinds.
5) Thus we move from the mere assemblage to
CHARACTERISING CRITERIA FOR THE MAINTENANCE
of the things assembled. Hence both FROM and SINCE creation, the nature of the future for components in these respects is indicated, envisaging a certain stability. Creation is thus composed as a going concern, not a sketch, drawing, dream or vision. It has offshoots into normal existence as we know it on all sides. Once instituted, as in kinds, it is constituted and characterised. We are not given a plane for exaltation, but a seat for proliferation. Set and settled from the first, it is given orders to the last.
As to the 'kind', let us consider in more detail. The precise scope of each is not noted in terms of present day preferred concepts, such as genus, family, but the 'kinds' are under a constraining protectorate (abundantly confirming in the 'editing' of genes, to stabilise against copying errors), one which is by no means necessarily at species level; and indeed the scope of the terms used suggests a broad sweep of kinds. Each LEVEL however is certainly sacrosanct, and this again is precisely what is found in all geology and in all laboratory work. (See SMR Ch.2, and That Magnificent Rock, Ch.1.)
Nevertheless the considerable narrowness of the conception for stability, the kind, is shown by the different sorts of birds embraced in notable abundance; and the constraints and restraints at this defining level, the characterisable continuities, are precisely what we find. They are frequently attested not only through the utter disregard which is found in 'nature' for the half-formed transitions which imaginations like to conceive, but by its extreme repugnance even when exposed to environmental forces for mutative purposes, such as X-rays, to oblige with an upgrade.
Here we must note that it is not a matter of 'research' to place into God's mouth, what He has not uttered, whether in the interests of extending or reducing what He has said. Be content to take it as it comes. It is clear we are dealing with categories of some fineness, but it is not clear beyond basic types of birds and so forth, just how fine. The coverage therefore it is exceedingly extensive as it is, ruling in creature continuity, to a fine level, and in exact contradiction of theistic evolution, just as the scientific data fail on a grand scale, to support such change, by ANY means, theistic or not, since the creation.
It is not here a matter of what God might have done or could do; but of what He did - and of what He said. As stated, His declaration meets all objective criteria, as might be expected by their Maker. He created in kinds, and provided for the continuance of the same. Microbiology is eloquent in its unravelling of some of the procedures used, to edit copies and take quite notable action to inhibit copying errors, and activate the sort of continuance which is so notable over thousands of years, as various ancient things are found so like the present versions, that it is both awesome of staggering as a technical achievement (see Ch. 4, A Spiritual Potpourri).
This indeed is far more so, in view of the curse on the earth which is a consequence of man's innovations of thought and worship, mistreatment of himself and his neighbour, but above all, wilful ignorance of the glory of God as shown in empire, philosophy, inglorious wars of aggression and vanity, and inane hopes of 'finding something out there' in space, instead of looking to the One who made it and the power to investigate as well! (Cf. Romans 1:17ff., TMR Ch. 7 F, A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-3.)
6) A STRAIGHTFORWARD HISTORICAL FLOW into named times, families and geographical places in the fabric of history (as in Genesis 2:11-14, 4:2, 4:14,16ff., 5:1, 5:;7, , 9:6, 10:1ff., 10:23ff., 20:1, , , 12:1 and so on).
7) A SPECIALISED SELECTION OF THE ABRAM FAMILY FOR A WHOLE DETAILED TREATMENT TO FOLLOW - 11:27, 12:1.
Thus in Genesis we are NOT dealing with pre-history,
but history's base and basis.
Without this it could not happen; through this it did happen, does happen and will happen. This is the procedure in Genesis 1-12.
There is articulation as of the joints of the body, and it emplaces the components from
creation, to institution, constitution, generation, proliferation, multiplication, specialisation,
indeed right into the place and the family of concern. Accordingly, Romans 5, Matthew
19, I Timothy 2 and Romans 8 do no more than precisely reflect the clear teachings of
origins found in the Old Testament; and so does Matthew 1:1-16 which proceeds through
chosen generations from Adam to Christ.
For that matter, Christ in John 5:45-47 makes it clear that the books of beginnings in
the Old Testament, 'Moses' being the author-editor, if not received amount to
non-reception of Christ Himself. THIS is the history into which HE came, which HE has
designated through His Spirit of old, and which alone is adequate and accurate for instruction
Thus without this it could not have happened; with this, and thus, it did happen:
this is the teaching. History thus has had grounds for its own institution in a field of astronomy
and geology, or rather the objects which these disciplines seek to study, in a plane of biology
and morality, spirituality and worship. Kinds of objects, kinds of creatures, and the kind of
being in God's image, man: all have their generations dependent upon creation, and all
cohere in what is to become the fabric of history, a derivative of the environmental capsule,
with the input from above at the first, and in continuity toward man at the last - which it
very nearly was, as shown in Genesis 6.
8) A DETAILED ITEMISATION OF THE CATEGORY OF SIN.
This too is endemic in the fallen history of the universe, and in Genesis 6, it is made clear
that the divine judgments are not misaligned to human deeds; and can reach crisis
proportions when a critical mass, as it were, of sin is found impenitently placed in the
|surcharged hearts of the race. The rainbow is a sign not of no judgment, but of no
repetition of that MODE of judgment (Genesis 9:12).
9) A CLEAR INDICATION OF THE SCOPE OF COVENANT
BETWEEN GOD AND HIS FOLLOWERS ON EARTH:
Genesis 9:12; and later between God and a chosen family on earth, from which multitudes
would come, and in which the saviour would be born (Chs.12,15,22).
10) A FORMAT TOTALITY INDICATOR,
in that the generations of heaven and earth are allied to the generation of kinds, of families,
and of spiritual criteria for division (Ch. 5:22, 6:1ff.). Everything has its place; and what gets
out of place has its assessment, creates it damage; but the greatest displacement of all is
between the heart and spirit of man and the Lord Himself, and this has decisive consequences, though mercy waits long and patience is strong.
2. DEVELOPMENT OF GENERATIONS
IN KIND AND COHESION
Thus we find the impactive parallel between the generations of the heaven and the earth (2:4)
and those of cattle, men (e.g. 5:1) and spiritual persons (6:2), as distinct from
non-spiritual: a distinction highlighted by destruction on the one hand, and deliverance on the
other in a most specialised application of kind - here a KIND created in terms of GRACE (Genesis 6:8); and this proceeds in a universe now in the phase of consolidation, reached from a universe brought into its career, at its institution from creation. The 'generations' may indeed stretch back
to the beginning, the thrust of the must, the result of the creation, the outcome of what is thus put
into being, and proceeding as directed by fiat, or 'kind' impress. Creation makes; generations proceed. God writes into being; creation responds in being, in kind, and in man, in spirit.
The text at the outset, of the heaven and the earth, of moving life, of man, specifically uses the specialised term 'creation' in precision: yet in terms of the parallels above, the emphasis
moves to their products, what they came to do. This is the matter of their 'generations' or history.
WHAT DID OCCUR ? First, we find that the Lord prepared a pad for man, and a
procedure to operate that pad. He who made in stupendous precision, did not lack a plan,
a program. We see now how it operated (2: 4ff.).
∑ The MATERIAL is established, then
∑ the VITAL, then the PERSONAL and
∑ the SPIRITUAL and
∑ the MORAL, and
∑ the SEPARATION is instituted and then confronted in terms of judgment.
Character, categorisation and procedure is everywhere; but when the image-bearer, the
creaturely fellowship person who could be a friend of God is concerned, there is a
SPIRITUALLY VITAL compass which surpasses all (Genesis 5:21-24).
We see the iron ore, as it were, dug out, the factory built, the machinery engineered, the
computer-programs up and running, the products assessed and the staff (Genesis 1:26, 2:19).
Their part, as so often, is crucial! Thus developments within creation, within kind, occur, are construed, are challenged, confronted or blessed.
We see indeed, the institution of the solidity and structure, of the earth, of the cosmos, of the universe, of matter and mind and spirit in the human, creaturely form. Categorically, we see the
stage impressed into service, glorious in scope as befits the Almighty, the provision of inhabitants, of correlative entities, diverse in kind, of the earth, of the cosmos, of the universe, of matter and
mind and spirit in the human, creaturely form. Here is one to act in Godís image, a creation to
work intelligently. Man, then, what did he do ?
Thus is to be seen the formula which appears repeatedly, in terms of results of construction.
In 2:4 - "these are the generations of the heaven and the earth" (what arises now from
this "creation" after the day the Lord created it); in 5:1, it is the generation of Adam; later, we find the generations of Noah, the same phrase. This is the nature of the generative case - for a family, the genealogy, in the heavens and the earth. We see the generative act and the actions/activities by which it is composed, contrived, caused to appear and given existence.
Existence-production, the creation of the entity, of the tableau, is the aura, with some notation
of the end and purpose, till the next step, which is existence-maintenance; and then as
applicable, judgment is set, very naturally, into place.
Here then is the staff and corset of history; the stage itself set down in a flourish of fiat creation;
and into this, God pours life botanical, biological, spiritual and eternal: the latter being as yet
less prominent in the spoliation phase, than the mess man made.
Continuity in kind is the consideration following fiat, and discontinuity in grace is the
early development following man. As to God, He made man amidst an outburst of divine energy so great, so magnificent, so manifold, and yet provided in a way so intimate, that no excuse but
only horror awaits the alert reader to the divine script. No excuse exists for the blemish in man;
and the blemish is worthy of death, in death it sits, and only grace can preclude judgment.
From first to last, this is the message; from the very first to the very last (Revelation 22).
Reason concurs, rebellion dissents; the truth is not moved. Only mercy can save. Only grace
can do it, as with Noah, and this by a provision so stupendously amazing, on the one hand,
and so simply effective on the other, like the ark, which typifies Christís salvation, we who
have entered it before it is sealed the occupants of the kingdom of heaven, that truth lodges
itself at the earliest times in reading the word of God.
As to man, his fall leads to a disharmony, a labour, to danger, to peril, and to curse. What is
to be done ? Certainly, grace found its mark in such as Enoch (Genesis 5:24), who walked with
God, who 'took him', but the strains mixed, leading to a massive judgment (Genesis 6:2). There
was then no remedy, but for escapees into grace. God proceeded to make His own selection to
this end. Noah found grace in the sight of the Lord.
We proceed to narrow and to extend the case. After the flood of judgment on the
immoral perversities and perplexities of sinning man, in Genesis 6:18-19 we find the
unambiguous declaration that the whole earth was populated from Noah's offspring, preserving the basis of history-to-history sequence definitively, while in Genesis 10:1, we find the arrival of the list of generative acts, so closely paralleling those of the heavens and the earth in Genesis 1,
specific, just as that was.
As we come, first before the flood in such as Enoch, and then during it in Noah, to the spiritual
and the non-spiritual domains for man, we find a vital energy. It is here that the focus sharpens
into personal delineations of no small impact.
This contrast in spiritual kind becomes a distinction highlighted by destruction on the one hand, for the many, the very man indeed (as in Matthew 7:15ff.), and deliverance on the other in a most specialised application of 'kind' - here a kind in terms of GRACE (Genesis 6:8), in a universe now in consolidation from a universe institution creation, and in utilisation after formation. The kind now becomes in Adam, in others, a matter of their own spirits, in the image of God, of disposition of THEIR thought, of will. Yet there is no alteration of Him who made them.
The principles of God do not change. He is always the same. His judgments do not bend; He has His own ways. Of these grace is a paramount issuance from His being, as in Genesis 6:8.
The two Testaments are bud and bloom, the law focusses on the spiritual insects, and the need therefore for a spray to prevent the collapse of the spiritual plant, man.
In Genesis 10 we are dealing with man in his KIND-continuation, at the racial level. Clearly conceived in the form of the actions of the Almighty in His institution of all things, the heavens and the earth, in this amazingly condensed and remarkably cohesive account, is this developing racial area. It all starts, is given rigour and rigidity, and then moves into its appointed places; and if there is any trend to vary from that laid down, from the KIND, then apt and apposite judgment, though it seem to delay long, surely comes (Genesis 11).
This time, it is in a way which makes racial presumption, and human arrogance to appear as divided, kind from kind, as all become from the mind of God. Hence dispersion comes as the consequence to the fateful consequence of arrogant unity, a unity which forgets the source of it: the Creator.
The whole panoply and texture of things is rendered in terms of creation-desecration, provision and alienation. History is now able to be understood, to flow, to have its bases and its parameters clearly set. This is history, and the origination of history; it is history's base and beginning, its permission to exist, and existing, its grounds of flow. Here the world that is here is explained, interpreted, judged and warned.
Its actual antecedents are exposed, man's ways and God's in response; its status is revealed, its state is traced, its meaning explained and depicted; and God's impact of grace is presented. Here the world is explained, interpreted, judged and warned. THIS is what to so many seems to be the missing element:
WHY, and HOW and WHERE is it all; and WHAT am I? The answers are as clear as they are cohesive; and the start is from the first.
First, then, we learn THAT GOD CREATED, then WHAT FOLLOWED, in terms of the pad for the testing program for man, the outcome for man, and for creation (cf. Genesis 3:14 cf. Romans 8:18ff. cf. ). HOW did man get here (Genesis 1), WHAT WAS HIS SITUATION (Genesis 2), and WHAT RESULTED (Genesis 3): these issues are determined, declared and resolved, as is this: What major axes of history unfolded (Genesis 4, murder, Genesis 5, diversification of activity and the preparation for disaster, Genesis 6, flood, 7-9, consequences, and 10-11 the table of nations and the tower of Babel, and racial diversification and judgments).
Genesis 12 takes us to God calling, not this time Noah for continuance of the race at all, but Abraham for the arrow to point to the Messiah (as in 12:1-3). We move to the tune of majesty, in the midst of a profusion of confusion on the part of man, and a royal certainty on the part of God, already announcing plans and determinations, which become prophecy (as in Genesis 12, 15, 17, 22). This specialises in Israel, from Abraham, and what follows for man through this.
Meaning then ? Need then ? Confrontation ? solicitation ? necessary comprehension, response ? It is all here.
It is based in creation, moved into image-bearing meaning towards God, IN a natural setting; and its proceedings and His now show to that equally factual, actual world of today, the one which has come in terms of the generations of the heaven and the earth, of Adam, of Noah and all the rest, where it stands, falls and what it needs. It is rather like a parent finding out about a future son in law. Here was he born, here educated, here trained, there in profession, so that this is the case, and in view of this, that is the man you see. Here then is a curriculum vitae for the human race, founded, foundering, fallen, found. It depicts the consequences of the fall from the beauty of its origins; and the contrast is horrific.
The answers, then, are as clear as they are cohesive; and the start is from the first. God confronts man with his origin, his decline, his deformities, his history, his need, and equips him with understanding as the marvels of covenant, salvation and of that seed, that one man not bound by sin's cords, but free in power, to arise through this race (Genesis 3:15), by direct divine decree. His role ? to smash the power of evil, satanic in force though it be. From daze, man is to come to days, from illusion to history, from confusion to clarity, from dreaming to dire reality, from days each in its role, to his own day in its setting; and in history cardinally exhibited, he is to use the glass to behold not some preferred or vague notation, but the shame and the folly of his past, the grace of God's interventions and the irresistible judgments which, without the direct intervention of grace, face him now as before.
Nothing could be less abstruse, lyrical, or in one sense, more prosaic, for it rather parallels a medical report on a patient, starting with birth, and in this case, the creation of the universe, of its days, its stars, its luminaries, its kinds, its ... condition. It uses man's terms, man's world, connotes its creation, considers its near destruction, is imbued with gravity, profundity, and yet for all that, an elemental simplicity such as a judge might impart to a case that despite all the extravanganzas of the 'defence' is without defence, and needs only grace, the grace of God as here depicted, just as creation and pathology is exhibited.
It is not some pretence that is needed, but the facing of hard facts, that have been working throughout the years. Pathology is not apt for poetry, but surgery. A marred creation, which did not hesitate to mar the face of the Lord in due season, is on notice of judgment, which only grace can interrupt, for those who receive it in its abundance, like Noah, like Abraham, like Enoch. Like Cain, like Sodom, like Noahís world, it is in no need of lullabies.
Let us then look in some more detail at the developments and terms in view.
3. DAYS NOT DAZE: HISTORY,
NOT ORATORICAL HARRUMPHS
'Days' in Genesis1 is, then, a concept controlled by
1) the scope of the topic -1:1.
2) the mode of institution of what is depicted as receiving its very name by virtue of the actions of deity specified.
3) the correlative geological actions, defining anew the scope and the character of the account in the detail involved.
4) the biological institution of "kinds" which are characterised as is "day" by both the mode of institution and the nature of continuity as specified - leading to the observable world where such linguistic terms as "cattle", "kind" and "day" are known, forming an educative basis for instruction, such as occurs from God in these chapters, with the contemporary conditions at the latter end.
So far from the exotic in terms of terminology, it is precisely the normative which is in view, to which appeal is made, even to the point of indicating the SOURCE of the language for "day" in the divine mind, in this astronomical, geological setting. Reject it man may; inspect it he must; misinterpretation is possible only through rejection at this level.
5) the continuity that is by precision of depiction, paralleling of phrases and elaborate concatenation with processive, progressive history, predicated to creation as in the children's game, a donkey's tail is pinned on to the beast itself.
6) the incorporation of judgment (ch.6). This is based on highly specific and clearly itemised behaviour, and indeed "imaginations" in the heart, of sinful and afflicted humanity - or as, in contextual fidelity it could well be called - mortality! The specified result is mortal enough for any man!
These imaginations, thought concepts, philosophic lusts, self-worshipful trends on the part of man were made a subject of divine arrest - you might say, perhaps, cardiac arrest. That is the heart of the matter. The arrest was executed by a divine injection, unlike those in the composition of the creation; for it was one of destruction (cf. Biblical Blessings, Ch.7,
It was a purge of monumental proportions, and the terrestrial flood to blot out man from the face of the earth - gracious exception apart - related to an endemic pollution, an epidemic dispersion and an obstinate perseverance in sin that is magnificently portrayed, without historical research, by simply looking about one, in this twentieth century. For as the flood came to Noah, said the Lord Jesus Christ, so will this come to this generation, defined as we saw in SMR . This? a crucial crisis becoming dominant until man without Christ's return would face impossibility, and His return making all things scorchingly clear: light to those of it, darkness to those with that preference (Matthew 24:30-51, II Thessalonians 1).
7) The table of nations in Genesis 10. Here there is seen a distributive procedure following the flood, and an often praised racial account for the dispersion man, or his specialisation in segments. From this comes a major component of the racial, national and family diversification.
Small wonder then that the book is called "GENESIS", for it concerns engendering of matter, form, human thought platforms, liberty (in God's image - hence a race subject to choice in specified regards), causality - inputs and outputs related, rationally on the originated basis, though subject to divine oversight and intrusive action as deemed apt - as in the flood case.
Incidentally, we here note that the flood action had other foci: it was also a purgation exercise. It was conservation through purgation, in the midst of an obstinacy of misalignment, deadly by nature, a denaturing which could not be supported indefinitely (Genesis 6:3) without divorce from reality. In short, this race, we are shown, had become foul beyond contemplation. This in II Peter 3 is precisely paralleled to our present time (see above), when a further purgative process is in view - fire and indeed elemental dissolution, something with which of course quite relevantly and in that sense appropriately, man is fooling (tinkering) about at the moment. The fervent heat dissolution of the entire universe which his predicted in Matthew 24:35, II Peter 3 and Isaiah 51 is nothing novel to this generation of the 1945 explosion. That? it is merely a prelude.
Thus there is a binding of past and present, past and future, present and future, and history is given licence to proceed. Days are instituted; life is instituted; kinds are instituted; kinds of behaviour are found to arise. Life proceeds from the erection of day-time to doing-time in the days so made. History is integral, correlative, explicatory. It proceeds from institution of what is, to the usage and use of the same. Exotic concepts of days are simply daze, extraordinarily irrelevant, eisegesis of the most invasive and self-pre-occupied kind, a sort of philosophic passion which is so sundered from the text, that it is really writing its own story. This, however, is history, divinely prepared, and divinely revealed. What man conceals, God reveals, and the effort to suppress, as in Romans 1:17ff., is mere the advent into this frame, of the invention of suppression. Indeed, what happens next in Genesis is symptomatic of the same thing, even so early as that.
8) The tower of Babel as the appointed mode for the amazing diversification of languages: another historical feature given its report and account. A judgment on misuse of unity, it becomes a ground of separation. Pentecost of course - not the blithe misuse of the fact of Acts 2 shown by the mass of Pentecostals, but the reality - became the divinely ordered REVERSAL PROCEDURE, SIGNIFYING IN SIMILARLY MIRACULOUS, that is intervening power, the hope for the future, when that future is in the hands of the Messiah, the Christ, the Remedy.
The underlying physiological and psychological similarities of all human races has often been remarked and even made a subject of wonder. The ANALYTIC similarities of the concepts and uses of language are as great as the demographic illustrations of their divergences. The MODE as distinct from the specifics, the FACILITY as distinct from the exercises developed, these are shown as a generative phenomenon, a programmed setting for agility as distinct from a programmed vocabulary or specific grammar. The ONE which is similar is as remarkable as the MANY which have formed in remarkable originality, always the most primitive languages, we learn, seeming the more complex! (See SMR pp. -1031C.)
Transformational characteristics in language are a current subject of study, and the proliferation of various widely used codes in this age of immediate communication are an illustration in computer technology, of this racial inventiveness on lines that are coherent from the first, and used to the last. INVENTIVENESS towards God became a ground for the penalty on inventiveness that led to language differentiation as in the flood, in an action of divine judgment. Inventors are able to do that with their products; and when those products are persons, there is a divine appositeness, a justice, an aptness in the rebuke to the presumption: as here...
9) The call of Abram leading to the development of Abraham, and the genesis of the Jews - as a people called by covenant to precise knowledge of God (Jeremiah 9:23) leading to the contemporary from ITS ORIGINS.
What then do we find? Creation, institution, constitution, control, injection, supervision, call, covenant are articulated in a study of the generation of all things, first absolutely, as 2:4 shows, to bring into being heavens and earth as distinct from non-heavens and non-earth - that is, no creation. (This of course is also specified in John 1 and Colossians 1, Revelation 4, Isaiah 45:1-25 etc..)
The creation was wrought by God both in substance and in form; was alike monergistic and majestic; was not accomplished in any way by the forces of natural input but designed and executed by God: in other words, was in its basis, mode and action, neither by theistic evolution nor through any other natural synergism.
In Genesis 1, the creation is expressed, if with some poetic elements of style ), yet in such a way that these are no more than ornamental in nature, in no way affecting the sober statement of the fact, mode and character of the creation by God Almighty. Far from myth, legend, or mere literary exercise, it sets forth discrete periods of time which by their length, or lack of it, contribute nothing to the actual creation: except it be time for natural responses - themselves not creation but eventuation - to the creative steps themselves.
Moving into history in a unitary fabric of divine action succeeded by human action, as also seen in Luke 3 and Romans 5, the creation as described in Genesis is presented in a record which though brief, is in its brevity correct. It not only shows, as does Hebrews 11:1-3, that the INVISIBLE was the SOURCE of the MAKING of the whole visible universe, but that its MODE was COMMAND, its PARAMETERS of construction were precisely formulated, its MATRIX was generative, its FABRIC was integumental with that of history, and originative of the same, its CONSTRAINTS were imposed, its RESTRAINTS composed and its EXUBERANCE ordered.
In nothing misleading, it says what it means without prolixity. While the account is short, and may not therefore answer all questions of detail: what it states, is irrefragable and irreformable; the happenings there as real as those in any other part of Genesis. What is 'science falsely so-called' (that is, an abortive substitute for scientific method composed of forlorn hopes and wasteful pretence) doing? Seeking to institute a nervous breakdown in 'nature' by ceaselessly prodding it to do it again, which has neither the mind nor the method to compose itself - indeed we ourselves, the materially formatted spiritual pinnacle amongst the visible, cannot compose ourselves, not even in mind, far less body, in such affairs, such flirtations with fancy. Churchill composed a grand overall statement about fighting on the beaches and never giving in; but if that had a certain lyricism, yet it did not mean that we would NOT fight on the beaches, or contemplate ACTUAL surrender.
In the formulations of things wonderful, the purpose may be this or that; but when the setting is historical, the situation is complex and the involvement of humankind categorical, where the overview is insight into the crisis, the conspectus, the developed position in which man, or a nation, or a city is placed, with outcomes in reality and incomes in aggravations, the concept that what we are featuring is poetry is merely a mesmerised escape from the billowing reality. Genesis 1-10 has all the poetry of a science laboratory book, of a family tree, of a situational survey.
Majestic in terms of God's own majesty, simple in terms of entire verbal control over an utterly comprehended sphere on the part of its divine author, striking and unsparing, it denotes the place of man and his responses, responsibilities and predicaments, substituting for convenient fictions, the prodigal reality, for false hopes, simple reality, orienting not to idols, but to the same Almighty God who, having entirely commanded into being matter, mind and man in a terrestrial setting, proceeds to unveil the steps of covenantal communion with man, the institution of the commission of Israel and the prediction of the blessing to the Gentiles also. It leads on to Exodus 20 and its interweaving of requirements with the methods of the Creator, in the matters of worship and of rest, quite explicitly.
It has nothing to do contextually
with poetry as a substitute for precise thought,
an existential performance in angst
or a pseudo-reverential verbal splash of relatively meaningless impressionism
or astigmatic adventurism.
4. THE LOOM FOR HISTORY, ON WHICH HISTORY IS WOVEN
Quite the contrary, the terminological, historical, geographic, astronomical, engendering theme is constant, consistent, conclusive. It is articulated with energy and address to that which now is, including its sin and proceeds from
|1) creation to
|2) successive institution*2
|3) constitution and control to
|4) worlds of being - the conscious, volitional, family, racial, linguistic, judgmental, contemporary, with steps both unwearied and remorseless.|
THIS is the book of Genesis, of beginnings, and it is at supreme pains to make a seamless robe of
1) what came to be and
2) what is, under the face of the One who called all into being before it was and has addressed, does address and will address all of its uses and misuses by man. And this? It is in terms of man as given a place of some authority within it, of man an answerable, and an environment as formed and moulded, prepared and supervised by God.
Genesis provides an account, record, explanation, basis, history of generation and of generations that is decisive, comprehensive, specialised, particular and elaborately articulated with the contemporary. Moreover, the address within it TO the contemporary products of this is by decree, declaration and covenant whether with water or with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob - and it has warning and blessing with all this genesis in constant view.
It is picked up in
detail in Romans 5, from the first man and his disobedience,
constituting all men sinners, to the Last Man (cf. I Corinthinans 15:42ff.),
Christ in His obedience, constituting those who receive His justifying grace,
through His substitutionary atonement, righteous by virtue of His own gift that covers,
coupled with an inward gift associated with joy,
and a guarantee of belonging to God by His means,
so that these who so come WILL BE SAVED FROM WRATH through Him (Romans 5:9).
This is the divine picture in both Testaments, the truth from God, the verified, alone valid word of God to man (cf. TMR Ch. 5, SMR Chs.1, 3, 10, Barbs, Arrows and Balms 6 -7, Repent or Perish Ch. 2). It may be entertained or it may be disdained, but like God whose word it is, it does not move. It has no need to do so.
True from the first, it is confirmed to the last, subjectible in much to precise test, majestic in monergism, irreducible in coverage, complete in composure, the text book of truth is given by the only One who could know it, to those created NOT to contend with their Creator for that regal spot, or to deviate to Nature Worship in the throes of anti-scientific imagination, but to operate in the realms so created and so depicted in place.
If however, like haughty adolescents (Proverbs 30:12 depicts this possibility), mankind as a vast majority wishes to make the family castle and estate 'arise' from no place, or disdain 'dad' yes and more than dad, their formulator and creator, so be it. Nothing is altered except the judgment which so naturally and so necessarily follows. Froth is blown away. It is inherently airy.
As to that, John 3:15-19 declares the case in the mellow midst of a mercy as precise as and yet more prodigious than creation itself. The movement from the divine hand to hearty, creation to redemption is like finding an ocean floor of rubies.
See on creation:
A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-9,
Wake Up World! Chs. 4, 5, 6,
and The Defining Drama Ch. 3
and Indexes on Creation.
CALL IT A DAY!
See That Magnificent Rock, Ch.7, Section E, pp. 174ff. A short except from this, adapted for our present purpose, is provided below.
The singular, sovereign, staccato dispersal of power, in creation matching the overpowering wonder of the Creator, is what is recorded, and as shown in these passages and similar ones,
A measure of poetry, it may indeed contain; but poetry designed, as in great music, to hallow the event; nor is it poetical in any pre-emptive sense, it being rather the magnitude of the events, in parallel with the simplicity of the style, which evokes a sense of the poetic. In fact, the language has a certain precision and economy of style, like that of a King to his commanders. In one clear sense, its lack of substantial simile and vague if evocative assertions is about as far from the poetic as
That these are the "generations" of heaven and earth, the originative activities, the accounts, records and reports of the way
is made even clearer by the DECLARATION in Genesis 2:1-4 to that EXACT effect. "Thus" it was done, thus "finished", "all the host of them", "in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens." "Generations" is likewise the term which continues to be used, of other historically specific events, such as descendants from parents. As in Luke 3, so here, the genealogical accounts proceed from the historic to the historic, and in Luke's case, from Adam to Jesus Christ. What the Bible means is not in the least doubt; and the reader is referred to the relevant SMR pages (e.g. pp. 179-196, 226ff., 482ff.), for more detail.
As in the Bible, so in other earthly history, relatively short time is repeatedly indicated by specialties remaining and rates relating to observation, here in a deftly made and acutely clear delineation of events, their basis, their development and their answer from God: it is such considerations rather than presuppositions, themselves based on the very assumptions which stand in need of support, as shown in the text of this Section, which are apt in textual interpretation. Even if someone should say, in a vague general sort of a way: Suppose God is so great that His days, although in every way to US suggesting what their context imposes, rotational days, in fact has these as thousands of years ?
However, since God IS in fact so great, He is not deficient like some struggling year 12 English student who has not as yet quite grasped the first elements of communication with mature... human beings (whom He created, complete with powers to communicate, supply the equipment and the first in a magnificent synthesis of operative efficiency). He is not deficient in expression: WE are His expression, though subject to sin, and with immense creativity often combined with maleficence of our own making.
If GOD wants to indicate HIS sort of days, to an uninitiated audience, who do not move in the form of God, but in the form of man, He could doubtless do it with a facility which would be just as impressive as the note-fact, act-record sort of depiction found in Genesis 1. However as a teacher-communicator, He CHOSE the form of expression which, for His audience, readers, has this conceptual character, these clear signals, this impelling context, this stage by stage inauguration, this articulation with history. He did not create His announcement so that it would mislead. He did not speak so that it would be ... misunderstood. He did not make so heavily stylised a description so that its every feature would be contrary to His intention.
His utterance is not writhed or contorted (Proverbs 8:6-8). He spoke it because, as in all His utterances, it was and is the truth. Hence what He chose for expression is what we gain for impression from the inspectable vocables, the available phrases, the situational specifications. In the end, this piece of red herring has been left around too long, and its dismissal is accompanied by NO nostalgia, indeed the nose is relieved at it! How time seems to Him is one thing; how it is expressed to us is another. When He wishes to initiate us into some new frame of reference, that is His business. To assume He is doing it by using all our data for specification of something else, however, is to assume Him deceitful or a fool. Either thought is not mere blasphemy; it is logically absurd (SMR Ch.1).
Leave deceit, deviousness, distortion and the lie to the devil; it is his domain and his skills lie there. With God, it is someone who tells us the truth (John ,32,44-45, Psalm 117). Let us leave to the devious and the delinquent, some intrusion misnamed interpretation, by which they express only themselves or their views, while defiling the name of God, in a way wholly suitable for the undoubtedly notable name of Dr Goebbels, who excelled just there. Since God is more intelligent than you or I (like infinitely more, for example), He has no trouble with covering such needs as our minds possess, and in feeding them what they rightly assess from the evidence of His words. If God is more pure than the heavens, then His truth is more settled than they. It is really just a matter in the end, of interpreting what is there (that is, in the Bible), not what is here (in your heart).
When you read your own heart instead of what someone else is saying, you enter into a complicating guessing game of chess and imaginary moves. When your assumptions act on the basis of incompetence or fraud on the part of the communicator, you merely project. This is precisely what is a deplorable waste of time when purity speaks, knowledge articulates and truth divulges itself with infinite teaching skill: when, in short, it is the word of God which we interpret. Even for the word of man, it can become mere presumption. With God, it is imposture.
As to what He said, it is so clear that clarity needs a new name for the case: it is pellucid. Impulsions of creative power created conditions and kinds, and that is the way it is founded, and finished. It may be cursed, and it was so (Genesis 3, Romans 8:18ff); and it will be finished, for its end in judgment awaits it; but that is the way that it is (Matthew 24:35, Isaiah 51:6).
(For some of the scientific data now available, see the site indicated at the outset in this end-note, in the first hyperlink above. See also That Magnificent Rock pp. 166ff., 181ff. with A Spiritual Potpourri Ch 4.)
In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. Judgment and dismissal are its future.
All that will remain in the end, of this heavens and the earth, and their 'generations', all that history will be able to announce for this earth, with the heavens of astronomy and the ground of its blood, will be two terminals, each interminable; for the end is to destiny.
either the rescue by regeneration (John 3, Titus Chs. 2-3), in the Deliverer,
by Him spotlighted in history then still to come, for the fallen Adam and Eve
of Eden's lost opportunities (Romans 5:12ff.);
or else guilt alone.
For the latter, it is to be
unhealed through that heel of the Holy One, bruised in crushing the Tempter
unmoved by that heart of Him sent to evacuate man,
as many of this race as would come, each from his plight (John 1:12);
unrelieved by redemption (John 3:19,36, Hebrews 9:12ff.).
Not symbolic is the shame, the 'everlasting contempt' (Daniel 12);
not serenaded is the sin that squandered life.
Not small is the divine desire (Colossians 1:10ff., I Timothy 2, John 3:15ff.) for man,
of Him who as man irrupted into the history of man's generations, from His eternal blessedness;
and who on earth shall declare HIS generation ?
for He was cut off out of the land of the living (Isaiah 53:8).
So has man, as man, desecrated life; and so has God as man, desecrated death (Hosea 13:14), to redeem through faith those who find
in Him, and not in judgment, their joy,
the Uncreated Rock of righteousness (Psalm 61:-12, II Samuel 22:32) more to be desired than the artless sedition of sand,
the design of the Creator more excellent than the declivities of flesh;
who come in repentance
and so by faith and through His grace, receive Him
(Luke 19:42-44, Matthew 16,17, John 1:12, 5:24, Romans 3:23ff., II Corinthians 5:17ff., I Peter 2:22ff.)
at last, who created at first.
Simply as an illustration
of this principle of discontinuity so stressed by Dr Michael Denton as the
empirical fact for life, let us consider the famous Miller experiment
concerning its production. The work of Stanley Miller is given very due
attention by John Mackay, international lecturer with Creation Research,
The Miller experiment is of interest as an analogy to life, by contrast, and thus a useful teaching device for highlighting some of its features. Thus Miller sought by using electric discharges, and various inorganic chemicals with methane ("marsh gas"), to form "life", in order to show, presumably, that it is a NATURAL derivative from NATURAL products which lack life.
As with Pasteur's work when it was thought germs would arise as NATURAL products of NATURAL forces, given rain and air and the like, however, this was not scientific. Only life producers life, and Pasteur dealt a death-blow to the fly-by-night excursions in imagination by showing this to be what was happening in the case in point. Spontaneous generation of life is not the observable case, any more than the theoretical, verified case in experimental situations; for things do not work that way, and you do not reap what you have not sown.
All chemicals have natural propensities to do this and that under various conditions, in various combinations, because they have laws and characteristics such that given A, in condition B, you get C. Cause and effect work with simple ease, although the equations can be exceedingly complex. Give some electric discharge in a suitable mixture, hence adding energy in a forceful mode, remove certain chemicals which result (see SMR 41, 120ff., 129ff., 171, 209ff.,222, 251-252A, 252Kff., 326-327, 422Eff., and That Magnificent Rock, pp. 227-230, 256-257), in a chemical ‘trap’, and you can forward the movement of certain reactions, no longer ‘damped’, retarded, inhibited by reverse action which tends to destroy the product.
That means this: that given intelligence, its application, certain chemicals and energy, with a special abstractive feature, a trap, you can produce new chemicals. There is nothing entirely amazing about that; it is routine. The chemicals formed in this manner, in this case were amino-acids, which are used in the replicative, organised and sequential series of actions governed by DNA in the case of life. It is like saying, Plastic is like skin, skin is associated with life, and we can make plastic; so life is really accounted for in this way.
It is not so much that it is illogical; it is irrational. Plastic is not skin; it is not living; it does not replicate itself when damaged; it is not a part of a totality with programs attached. As a case of reductionism it would serve admirably for a lecturer in the black arts of false logic, and is commended for this purpose, and for this alone!
EVEN IF plastic could successfully masquerade as skin, it is not in our illustration, formed by chance; EVEN IF it could be suggested that certain products might assemble by chance, to revert to our Miller case, the scientific abstraction of products to enable the continuation of the forward production of the amino-acid is not chance, but intelligence.
Even if this were disregarded, the amino-acid does not ‘live’. It does not have ONLY left-handed, spatial orientation in its amino-acids as is the case with life. As Mackay points out, the 50% averaging of the right and left-handed varieties of amino acids is characteristic of death. Time does not alter it. It merely constrains it. It is something towards which dead tissue moves; and it is that which plain non-living, non-residual material exhibits. This universal criterion of life is thus absent in the Miller product. His is a different product; it is formed by intelligence, it lacks programming, it does not replicate, it is not integrated in a organised matrix which supplies its own energy, form, cell-casement for survival, and replicative means or directive DNA. In every one of these respects, it is non-life, characterised by non-life. It is dead: not a very vital contribution to life.
That apart, it is not EVEN
shown that what is NOT LIFE by MULTIPLIED and ALL
essential criteria, forms when left without the artful intervention in the
productive process by the organic chemist, who however dull, is scarcely to be
compared with the unformulated processes of chemical nature! If to form a
hammer is to make a computer, well; but it is not even the hammer, the tool
which is here shown formed, but merely the metal, as it were, on which
intelligence could work. If it did, then a tool is made by intelligence. The
experiment shows that if it does, and often enough, and with enough
understanding, then … you still do not get life. Surely
The dreams of man. They are so varied and so interesting; and as Jung empirically showed, they often indicate the desire for a 'lift' into some form of resolution, and here they do just that. Without God, they want His products, do not get them in space, or in the laboratory, or in theory or in practice. But they still dream, and sometimes do it in space probes to Mars, in life probes in laboratories, seeking for seeds without seeds, life without directions, assemblages without assembler, vitality without foundation, as though imagination were back to child-hood stages.
In this sense, it is as if ONE form of evolution really did occur, backwards, the reversion to childhood; but since even that is part of a formed, organised whole, even this is not in the field at all, even in reverse! What we have here is simple regression along the line of life, in undisciplined imagination of children, grafted onto the learning of man, to misuse the former and to debase the latter.
The Sheer Magnitude of the Futility that so Many Imagine,
is ONE MORE VAIN THING
(Psalm 2 illustrates the attitude from an earlier endeavour to remove the distinction between Creator and creation, even more dramatically..._
Miller did not create life; nor the antecedents of life, any more than plastic is skin. He did not perform an experiment as in Nature, for his chemical trap withdrew some of the products which were contrary to the retention of others. That is, what could destroy his products, he removed, and this allowed the amino acids to continue. As Professor Wilder Smith points out, the relevant chemical equations dealing with such products tend to the left: that is, their products tend to dissociate. Hence the 'trap' added by intelligence so that they would not do this, so enabling them to form, appear and be exhibited!
Nature does not do this for you. Nor did Miller use the ingredients of any known life, which must always have oxygen. Nor would oxygen, if present in order to get what we have got, be supportive but rather lethal for the life formed, this needs a protective cell wall, such as it in fact has, part of the total system that enables it to exist! Nor does the DNA itself arrive in this way; nor does the RNA. Not such things were formed, ever have been known to be formed from material ingredients.
Nor is anything in the least relevant to life known come in this way, by any observation, by any testable theorising, by any nature of any ingredients, by any code, or by any power or principle observable in anything. Nor does code arrive by itself, write itself, or make itself, either logically or experimentally. Books do not write themselves, for the meaning and the code and its interpretation for use, are all involved.
Accordingly, the now very important subject of Information Science knows of no way in which information either could or does increase itself; and what would you expect ? Information is meaning and matter does not mean, it simply goes where it is going. To mean, you need to have meaning, to be able to grant it, and this involves intelligence, imagination and systematic thought.
Matter's powers in this direction are limited to the absence of evidence by observation or concatenation of thought with evidence. It is a doer, not a thinker, an object of thought, not a mover of thought. Such are its observable, testable, explorable and exploitable dimensions.
For thought, you look elsewhere, and we have found from our own youth up; it does not arise, like a dawning in the morning; and even that itself, also, it is part of a system including the programmatic, working in the midst of laws and causes, structures and agencies of the most complex, astute in conception, requiring great understanding even to begin to follow it. Indeed, as with all writings of code, and machinations of system, it is a reflection on the intelligent imagination and knowledge of its creator.
The universe is life plus matter plus mind, in its expressions, yes, and life including spirit. Its codifications, computations, expressions and outworkings are at different levels the work of law, form, order, code and combination, synthetic correlation, as in the human body where code and law are in a combined nexus, one system. Its requirements for creation are not merely the donation of law for matter, analytical comprehensive capacity for mind, but code for contrivance and continuing creation on the lines already made, after the kind; and to this must be added the capacity to create will, and so to understand its character and relate to its requirements.
As to thought, then, where it occurs, its parameters are not of the nature of law, but origination, imagination, conceptualisation, implementation with purpose; and as to spirit, its lair is will and purpose, conception with creativity; while as to the programmatic component, it has enshrined these things within its coded controls. As to the Creator of these things, He is not less than sufficient for them, and His sufficiency is no mere comparability, for to CREATE is far more than to be. It involves the conceptual capacity to understand the interstices and nature of what you create, and so to be way beyond it.
For more on this topic, see
Repent or Perish Ch. 7, and
421ff., with TMR
Ch. 7. For the nature of the Creator in more depth, see SMR Chs. 1 and 10; for more on His creations in words, see Chs. 4, 8, 9. Beyond all systems and constructions, correlations and imposed constancies, each requiring its due, just and sufficient cause (cf. Causes), there is the necessity of what has to be there always for anything to be there ever, since nothing is inadequate for any future, by definition, and inadequate causation means non-production of the required item, universe or whatever. Always adequate, it is without constraint, since such constraint involves its own source, which then requires with the constrained, one total itself in need of adequate causative basis. In the end, one Eternal, uncaused Being, who is not in the realm of our own beginning and ending situations, is logically necessary. Being does not happen; it has to be or it has nowhere to come from! When it is, then its construction is not necessary. That is the way things simply are: the source preceded the situation, and the situation reflects the source. No source, no situation.
If again, the source lacks the vital ingredients to be productive of the result, no such result. In order to be able to be here to say that, however, there is manifest such a result. There is equally manifest such a source. His speech and His other works are dealt with in the above references, and elsewhere on this site.
His works are dealt with wherever He desires, and we as one of them do well to be found where His desire for us would have us. As donor of spirit to us, He is also judge of performance. As no man now on this earth is alien to all sin, any deviation from divine standards, there is need of pardon. In His word, identified as in SMR for example, as the Bible, we find that since no one comes anywhere near the cleanness of heart, purity of mind, complexion of soul which the Creator has specified, and which is able to be accommodated by His own life, but falls from it, then a CALL is issued for salvation, an offer is made of atonement (reconciliation, at-one-ment), a work has been performed of redemption (Christ dying, the just for the unjust to bring us to God); and such is this, that there is only one way to avoid the blessedness of the Creator. This is to insult His love, to reject His ransom, to be your own be-all and end-all without actually being that in fact, and so in fiction, to engender a friction which does not end, except in everlasting contempt.
On the other hand, the Dayspring from on High, Jesus the Christ, when known by these means, according to His Gospel, then has a transforming effect, a moulding influence, a keenness of treatment, a shepherding skill for His people, a pastoral felicity, an enthusing assurance, a wisdom- imparting grace, which working on the basis of a new heart, new outlook, new perspective and new connection, makes of the meaning of this world, void of it without its Maker, of course, something not only clear, but spectacular. That, it fits with the spectacular wisdom in the artifices and codes employed. It makes of this life a day for which the Dayspring is the basis, a day of meaning and marvel.
On these things, see
Galatians 1, 3 and 5, I Peter 2 and 3, John 1-3, Daniel 12, Psalm 50 and Romans